Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
The Emerald Atlas, by John Stephens, is a bit of fantasy and adventure with a large dose of reality. Kate, Michael, and Emma are siblings who were taken from their parents one Christmas Eve and begin a life of moving from orphanage to orphanage. Kate, the eldest is the one with the memories of her parents and knows that they loved her very much. She and her siblings continue the hope that somehow their parents will find them or come back for them.
When they end up in Cambridge Falls at an orphanage where they are the only children, strange things begin to happen. They find a book that takes them back in time and their adventure really gets going at that point. They find an evil witch, a kind wizard, an army of odd zombie like creatures, and some kind people who are willing to help them.
I did enjoy the story. The first one hundred pages or so were a bit slow going as the stage was set for the adventure. There were moments where I doubted I would have much good to say about it, but that didn't last. Once the children went back in time, the story became fun and quite intriguing. It was interesting to try to figure out the what and the why of things, how time travel worked, the history of the book, and the secret to why the children were taken from loving parents. The character were wonderful. King Hamish's tantrums made me laugh and the bravery of Gabriel nearly had me in tears. I feel that Mr. Stephens wrote a rich, interesting book and I look forward to the future sequels.